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Las Vegas Monorail Files for Bankruptcy

The Las Vegas Monorail has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in hopes of restructuring its debt. Las Vegas Monorail CEO Curtis Myles said in a statement released late Wednesday that the transit system had enough revenue to pay its operating costs and some of its debt. He said the monorail's hours will not be affected.

Myles says the company needs to get through bankruptcy before it can expand its system to the airport and other points along the Las Vegas Strip.

Myles says the monorail has been hurt by a 30 percent drop in convention visitors to Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Monorail is run without public funding.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Murdered Security Officer Laid to Rest

LAS VEGAS --  A crowd of hundreds, which included family members, friends, elected officials, judges, and law enforcers said their final goodbye to 72-year-old Stanley Cooper.

Cooper was the federal court security officer that was killed in last week's shooting at the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse.

"He loved being a cop and loved being a CSO and that's all he wanted to do," said Director John Clark, U.S. Marshal's Service.

Prior to the funeral service, there was a procession from the mortuary to the church.  A Metro truck carrying the flag draped casket passed in front of the Floyd George U.S. Courthouse where federal employees lined up to pay their respects. The procession then continued along Las Vegas Blvd. and the Beltway and finally ended at Central Christian Church in Henderson.

Nevada Casino Winnings Up for First Time in 23 Months

LAS VEGAS -- For the first time in 23 months, gamblers are spending more money in Nevada. In November, casinos won more than $873 million, up more than 4-percent from the same time last year.

But that's not the only number going up. Las Vegas saw a near 3-percent jump in visitor volume in November. The CES convention also saw a 6-percent increase in attendance. Las Vegas leaders are hoping this good luck lasts through all of 2010.

"We think convention numbers are going to be up a little bit, and so we think that is how 2010 is going to go -- that we are going to gradually see some increases in the numbers. That's what we're expecting for the first quarter," said Cathy Tull with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority.

The LVCVA says they have 25 major trade shows scheduled for 2010 that will pump more than $2 billion non-gaming revenue into the economy. Last year, they had 24 large trade shows.

Caesars Palace Launching iPhone Check-In Application

LAS VEGAS -- Casino officials at Caesars Palace say they are launching a new iPhone app and allowing guests to check into the Las Vegas Strip resort through text messaging.

Casino operator Harrah's Entertainment Inc. says the new application and check-in system debut this month. The iPhone app includes a customizable electronic postcard, resort information and the hotel's Twitter feed.

The check-in system is for guests who book online at the Caesars Palace Web site. Casino officials say guests will receive a text message the day before they arrive with their confirmation number. Those who reply "check in" get to skip lines the next day and receive their key after presenting identification.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Man Sentenced in Fatal Las Vegas Bombing

LAS VEGAS -- One of the illegal immigrants who set off a bomb at a Las Vegas Strip casino in 2007 was sentenced Thursday.

Omar Rueda-Denvers of Guatemala was sentenced to life in prison with no parole. Sentencing for his co-conspirator, Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, has been moved to Jan. 28.

The two men set off a bomb that killed a hot dog stand vendor.

A jury found the two men guilty of first-degree murder and other charges for killing 24-year-old Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio. The bomb was placed atop Antonio's car outside the Luxor resort.

More Than 300,000 Visitors Expected in Las Vegas for New Year

LAS VEGAS -- Local tourism officials are projecting more visitors to Las Vegas this New Year's Eve but they say spending will still be down compared to last year.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority projects this year's non-gaming economic impact from New Year's Eve to be about $183 million down from $199 million last year, which represents an 8 percent decline. They say they are expecting 315,000 visitors, which is up slightly from last year's number of 312,000.

Freeway and Las Vegas Strip Closures for New Year's Eve

LAS VEGAS -- Road closures will start taking place at 5 p.m. as Las Vegas prepares for a giant New Year's Eve party.

Here is information on the closures:

Downtown/Fremont Street
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - The closing of freeway ramps will begin
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Fremont Street will close to the public
6 p.m. - The Fremont Street gates will open for party goers